(#333) Questioning Risk

It’s OK to go into uncharted and murky waters.
Diving in headfirst is optional.

When you think of the concept of “risk,” what comes to mind?  For some it may be bold and reckless venturing into the future. It could mean mortgaging the house, quitting a career, or some other such huge leap into a perilous adventure. You know, I’m all in or standing on the sidelines; no half-way; dive in the deep end; all or nothing.

In the October 2016 issue of Inc. Magazine, Jason Fried, distinguishes between “taking a risk—and putting yourself at risk.”

Photo (c) Steve Piscitelli

Photo (c) Steve Piscitelli

Fried suggests we examine the questions we ask ourselves when it comes to taking a risk. In his words: “Figure out where the bet falls on the risk spectrum, along with the consequences, if doesn’t work.”

As I write this week’s blog post, we are preparing here in Florida for yet another hurricane. We spent the day securing the house and packing for our evacuation in the morning from the island. We’ve monitored Hurricane Matthew as it makes its way through the Caribbean, Bahamas, and heads toward Florida’s east coast.

Should we stay? Should we go? Do we put ourselves at risk? I’ve heard some folks today say that they will just ride this storm out.  They will “risk” that the storm will not come ashore. All or nothing.

Coincidentally, Fried’s business strategy fits (at least metaphorically) our evacuation situation.  The questions about risk become more nuanced.  Rather than ask, simply, whether we should stay or go, other questions present themselves:

  • What are potential risks and benefits if we stay—to our dog, ourselves, and to our property (like cars)?
  • If we stay, can we do anything to stop the storm from damaging our property (beyond our already completed preparations)? For instance, if there is a storm surge that reaches the front door, what can we do at that point? Or a tree that falls through the roof.  Could we do anything about that? [I have added the photo below after completing the blog post. This is the house directly behind our house.]

    Photo (c) Steve Piscitelli

    Photo (c) Steve Piscitelli

  • What if we decide too late to leave—and the authorities shut the bridges thereby halting any chance of evacuation?
  • What do we risk if we do evacuate? What do we lose by leaving our property for two days (or more)?
  • What happens if we decide to stay and the storm takes a turn putting us in the cross hairs of a direct hit with a five to ten foot storm surge? What are the consequences of that?
  • If we had children, would we ask different questions?

Whether you face a storm-related evacuation from your home, a business dilemma, an investment decision, a health concern, or a relationship conundrum, consider the spectrum. The situation (more-than-likely) will require more than either-or decision-making.

Believe in yourself.  It’s OK to go into uncharted and murky waters. Diving in headfirst is optional.

Recommended Video for the Week:

Rocky reminded us to believe in ourselves.

Make it an inspiring week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

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Check out my latest podcasts at The Growth and Resilience Network™ (http://stevepiscitelli.com/podcasts).

Check out my website  (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/programs.html) for programming information as well as details about upcoming webinars (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/webinars).

My books Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff?  (3rd edition) are published by Pearson Education.

(c) 2016. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.


About stevepiscitelli

Community Advocate-Author-Pet Therapy Team Member
This entry was posted in awareness, Critical Thinking, decision making, Life lessons, risk-taking and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to (#333) Questioning Risk

  1. Pingback: (#344) A Blogger’s Retrospective: 2016 In Review | Steve Piscitelli

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